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Keeping check: Drinkaware launches its Drinking Check campaign this summer

By Drinkaware

- Last updated on GMT

Drinkaware launches Drinking Check for summer

Related tags Drinkaware Health and safety Legislation

Drinkaware is kicking off a nationwide campaign during Alcohol Awareness Week, to encourage people to check their drinking with its free Drinking Check.

It is a simple way to help people moderate their drinking and keep within the low risk drinking guidelines. Over the year, Drinkaware wants to encourage hundreds of thousands of adults across the UK to complete the Drinking Check.

Drinkaware’s research showed that two-thirds (66%) of adult drinkers in the UK, an estimated 30 million people, have never been asked to check how much they are drinking. We are all used to regularly checking our eyesight or taking our blood pressure, so we should be doing the same for our drinking. The reality is that around nine million people – one in every five – are drinking at "increasing or higher" risk levels, often without realising it.

The Drinkaware Drinking Check asks you questions about your drinking and provides advice on how to have a healthier relationship with alcohol. Studies have shown that the Drinking Check can effectively identify people with risky drinking behaviour. Regularly taking the Drinking Check can help you keep within the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of 14 units a week.

For many, summer is a more social time of year. This year, that will be heightened as it’s a summer of sport, with both the Euros and Olympics taking place alongside the usual festivals and BBQs that see Brits soaking up the sun. Many of these events see alcohol sitting at the heart of socialising. It’s times like this when it’s so important to take a pause and reflect on how our drinking might be building up.

The campaign will feature across Times Radio, Virgin and Classic FM, alongside some of the country’s most popular podcasts including:

  • Adam Buxton
  • Changes with Annie Mac
  • Parenting Hell with Josh Widdicombe and Rob Beckett
  • Stirring it Up with Andi and Miquita Oliver
  • Stick to Football with Gary Neville and Roy Keane

The presenters will be getting involved by taking the Drinking Check and sharing what they learn about their drinking with their audience.

Spreading the word

Pubs and bars are central to communities and themselves employ thousands of people. Drinkaware are keen to get publicans involved and spreading the Drinking Check word across their communities and among their staff.

The different ways people drink over time is something pubs influence and adapt to, such as the rise in low and no alcohol sales as more people across the UK think about moderating. Moderating across the week can look like different things for different people. For some, it can look like having drink-free days on weekdays or zebra-striping when on a night out. Zebra-striping refers to alternating between alcoholic and no-low drinks like beer alternatives, with now a quarter (23%) of UK adults claiming to use this technique to moderate their consumption.

Let’s encourage healthy relationships with drinking together, if you want to find out more about the campaign and get more involved, contact our partnership team at cnegarefuvcf@qevaxnjner.pb.hx

What is Drinkaware’s Drinking Check?

Drinkaware’s Drinking Check is a quick and easy quiz, which asks you questions about your drinking and explains what your drinking could mean for your health. It is based on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This test is widely used by healthcare professionals across the world and in the UK, including the NHS, to assess alcohol consumption and the risk of alcohol-related problems, including dependence. Studies have shown that it effectively identifies people with risky drinking behaviour.

Diving into your own drinking is an important first step to finding out whether you might need to moderate your drinking a bit more. The Drinking Check does this and provides personalised advice and tips on how to stay within the Chief Medical Officer’s low-risk guidelines of 14 units a week.

How does the Drinking Check work?

There are 10 multiple-choice questions that cover various aspects of your alcohol use, such as:

  • How many alcohol units you drink on a typical drinking day   
  • Whether you can stop drinking after starting, or need a drink in the morning
  • Being unable to remember what happened the night before, or being injured 

Your answer to each question is scored from 0-4, depending on the level of risk suggested by your response. The scores are added together to give a total score between 0-40 - the higher the score, the greater the likelihood that you are drinking in a risky or harmful way.

What do the different scores mean?

  • 0 to 7 indicates lower risk 
  • 8 to 15 indicates increasing risk 
  • 16 to 19 indicates higher risk 
  • 20 or more indicates possible dependence 

The score on any audit test is not a diagnosis of anything by itself. Your score can suggest the presence of a potential alcohol use disorder, but a healthcare professional will be able to offer you advice that considers other factors that are relevant for you – like your age and sex.

About Drinkaware

Founded in 2006 by the UK Government, the devolved administrations, and the alcohol industry, Drinkaware is funded by unrestricted voluntary donations from more than 120 organisations. These include UK alcohol producers, retailers, supermarkets, venues, restaurant groups and sports associations.

Drinkaware is the UK’s leading alcohol charity, aiming to reduce alcohol harm. We achieve this by providing impartial, evidence-based information, advice, and practical resources; raising awareness of alcohol and its harms; and working collaboratively with partners.

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